Japanese authorities issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Carole Ghosn, the wife of former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn, on suspicion of having made false statements to a Tokyo court earlier this year. Mrs. Ghosn is currently in Lebanon with her husband where they are both citizens.
The arrest warrant accuses Mrs. Ghosn of “falsely claiming not to know, or to have met, people connected to a company that received payments from Nissan, part of which was subsequently transferred to a firm owned by Mr Ghosn.”
Japan is seeking Mrs. Ghosn’s extradition from Lebanon despite the fact that there is currently no extradition treaty between the two countries. Mrs. Ghosn’s Lebanese passport was also seized by Japanese authorities before her departure. However, Mrs. Ghosn has maintained her possession of her US passport, leading to speculation that Japan may attempt to leverage extradition through the US rather than Lebanon.
Mrs. Ghosn’s husband, Carlos Ghosn, ran Nissan until his arrest in Japan late in 2018 on charges of financial misconduct. His early requests for release were denied by a Tokyo District Court, and after a short release in early 2019 Mr. Ghosn was “rearrested” under new charges. However, in December, Mr. Ghosn skipped bail in Japan and flew on a private jet to Turkey where he then traveled to Lebanon. Japanese authorities have been unsuccessfully attempting to extradite him since he fled.
A spokesperson for the Ghosns stated that the arrest warrant was “pathetic” and was part of an attempt to prevent Mr. Ghosn from speaking freely at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.
Interpol has recently agreed to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Ghosn after he skipped bail.